Sunday, May 18, 2014

Detention facilities solely for terrorists across ASEAN eyed

From the Manila Bulletin (May 18): Detention facilities solely for terrorists across ASEAN eyed

The chiefs of police from the 10-member countries of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) see it worthy to have a detention facility solely for arrested terror suspects from the region.

Director General Alan Purisima, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the proposal was discussed during the 34th ASEANAPOL held recently in Pasay City and attended by police chiefs from the region.

“All the member countries, based on the discussion, are encouraged to establish specific detention centers for terrorist suspects and prisoners,” said Purisima. “The goal is to prevent them from spreading radical ideas in accordance with laws and policies of respective countries,” he added.

In the Philippines for instance, some of the arrested Abu Sayyaf Group members are detained in a maximum security detention cell in Taguig City.
Purisima said the continuous anti-terrorism drive in the region aims to limit if not end terrorists’ activities.

Purisima said the setting up of detention cells for terrorists is already included in the Joint Communiques signed by the heads of police forces in Southeast Asia.

“The ASEANAPOL also called on all members to reinforce cooperation in preventing and suppressing terrorist activities by implementing strategies in the detection, deterrence, rehabilitation, reorientation, counter-radicalization, de-radicalization and community engagement,” said Purisima, quoting another portion of the Joint Communiques.

To maximize the anti-terror drive, Purisima said all member countries were also encouraged to share regional knowledge and skills to deal with terrorism activities to the  International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO-INTERPOL).

“All ASEANAPOL-member agencies were also encouraged to actively contribute and fully utilize INTERPOL’s databases, and to support the INTERPOL’s Southeast Asia Foreign Fighters Project, an initiative of INTERPOL Fusion Task Force in response to the increasing number of transnational or foreign fighters joining terrorist affiliated factions in conflict zones,” said Purisima.

INTERPOL has maintained the status as a dialogue partner of ASEANAPOL in its annual conferences.

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